Before ramming a Council Bluffs police car during a wild pursuit, an Omaha man rammed his estranged wife’s car with his pickup truck up to a dozen times while chasing her through north Omaha and Carter Lake, according to court testimony Friday.
Jamie L. Kennedy faces felony charges of strangulation, second-degree assault, attempted first-degree assault and flight to avoid arrest, in addition to a misdemeanor domestic assault charge.
Kennedy, 29, appeared before Douglas County Judge Grant Forsberg on Friday in the courtroom at the Douglas County Jail.
Forsberg ordered Kennedy held on $1.5 million bail on the felony charges.
That’s on top of $150,000 bail a judge had set Thursday in the misdemeanor case.
Omaha police arrested Kennedy on Wednesday after a standoff at a west Omaha apartment complex. They had been looking for him since he escaped from a police pursuit Tuesday.
According to testimony and court records, Kennedy assaulted his wife, Lauren Kennedy, in their Omaha home on Sept. 15, punching her several times in the head.
While on the run from law enforcement, he returned to the house on Sept. 29 and asked her for money. When she refused, Kennedy allegedly began choking her, then hit her on the head multiple times with a metal baton.
Kennedy returned to the house on Sunday. His wife wasn’t home, but he called her “and told her that he was at her house and if she didn’t come home he was going to break all her windows,” according to a police affidavit.
As she drove toward the house, she saw Kennedy driving a pickup, and he began chasing her, the affidavit says.
She called 911. Running scared, she had a hard time telling the operator where she was, and the operator could hear her screaming, Deputy Douglas County Attorney Dara Delehan told Forsberg.
Kennedy allegedly kept ramming his wife’s car, at least 10 times, and tried to run her off the road. She kept driving until she saw a police vehicle near 16th and Locust Streets. Kennedy rammed her car again, then took off.
On Tuesday, Council Bluffs police and federal officers searching for Kennedy found him parked in a driveway near 26th Street and Avenue F in the Bluffs. When the officers confronted Kennedy, he drove off, ramming a Council Bluffs police officer’s car numerous times, police said. The officer was not in the car at the time.
Kennedy drove over a fence and pushed the officer’s car out of the way, police said.
The officers gave chase. He drove the wrong way on the Interstate 480 bridge into Omaha and escaped. Police found his vehicle abandoned.
Kennedy was allegedly trying to elude police again Wednesday when he crashed a pickup near 57th Street and Fowler Avenue and ran. He got away again, but officers, following tips, found him at the Grandridge Apartments in northwest Omaha and arrested him after a standoff.
“He has made statements that he didn’t want to go back to jail and threatened suicide by cop,” Delehan told the judge Friday.
Forsberg appointed the Douglas County Public Defender’s Office to represent Kennedy and set his next hearing for Dec. 2.